Now Watching: xXX: The Return of Xander Cage

February 2, 2017     Ro     Movie Reviews

The Return of Xander Cage is the third in the xXx franchise. A franchise everyone was completely convinced was dead when the foo– *ahem* team making the second installment had the audacity to announce Xander Cage was dead. It gets a rating of 3 out of 5 from me.

You’ll be happy to know (if you’re a fan) that Xander is back and he’s as brash as ever.

The movie opens with Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson) talking and ordering food. He’s clearly in the middle of his recruitment pitch – xXx is now a fully funded covert spy squad remember – to someone initially off camera. It’s the tried and true method of taking advantage of Jackson’s signature bombastic style that seemingly breaks the fourth wall without scene disruption. Naturally, this all ends with the, did they really just do that, crash-bang-pow moment that starts off the action and the story.

The plot is still simple: national security is at risk; the world is in peril and being attacked by an unstoppable team of daring bad guys and only an anti-establishment outlaw can save us.

If you’re coming to a xXx-movie looking for a subtle commentary on the state of world affairs and human relations, you’ve turned into the wrong theater. Its point is pushed in your face with blunt dialogue and blurry loyalties. Just like snarky action flick taking a tongue-in-cheek stab at the secret agent genre is should. It’s an adrenaline-fueled cartoon come to life – it even has the inserted comic panel bubbles to prove it…

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